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REV 2.4 - Mon Aug 16 17:28:57 2010

6 Jennifer Drive
Merrimack, NH 03054
(603) 494-1145
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SPECS: 39" x .976" - 2.4 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: MISSING - please submit here
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: B4-2 , B6-4 , C6-5 , D10-5

(Contributed - by Joe Policy - 05/05/05) FlisKits Alien8

A totally unique looking skill level 3 rocket designed by Shrox and sold by FlisKits. It even includes ping pong balls as a design feature! It's a great flyer and a rocket that people will take notice of at any launch.

The kit includes:

  • 2 NCB-50AB nose cone, balsa
  • 2 BT-50-18 body tube, 18"
  • 1 BT-50-04 body tube, 4"
  • 1 BT-20-0275 body tube, 2.75"
  • 1 CPL-50-01 stage coupler
  • 2 FSB-3-4-9 fin stock, 3/32" balsa
  • 2 FSW-SHX01 laser cut fins, 3/32" balsa
  • 1 PCP-16 16" parachute
  • 3 PPB-01 ping pong ball
  • 1 SE-M screw eye, medium
  • 1 SLK-90-36 Kevlar shock line
  • 1 SC-2-24 elastic shock cord
  • 1 SLCA-96 shroud line
  • 1 TD-1-6 tape disk
  • 1 LL-1-2 2" launch lug
  • 1 LL-1-1 1" launch lug
  • 1 EH-0275 engine hook
  • 2 CRP-20-50 centering ring
  • 1 EB-20 engine block
  • 1 DCW-SHX01 decal sheet
  • 1 FPS-SHX01 fin pattern sheet
  • 1 INS-SHX01 instruction sheet

Typically fantastic instructions from FlisKits makes this Level 3 rocket and interesting build. Although FlisKits has taken the unusual step of providing laser cut fins for the curved upper fins, they still leave the builder with plenty to do.

You first assemble the 18mm motor mount and there are no surprises here. Next, you are told to cut holes in the 3 ping pong balls. The instructions have you use the 4" BT-50 body tube to trace the outline of the first cut. You then cut out the circle very carefully with a sharp hobby knife. After a light sanding of the hole to deburr it, you then push the BT all the way into the ball which will give you a faint outline with which to make the second cut. You have the option to keep the 6 cut pieces to use in the design, I chose to discard mine.

The 2 long body tubes are then joined together with the coupler. The Kevlar shock cord is mounted with the coupler for a strong connection. You then cut out 9 fins and a jig brace from the balsa stock.

FlisKits has included a fin alignment jig that you must assemble yourself from included parts. The jig ensures that both of the large fins are at a 15 degree angle. I found the jig very useful and it worked perfectly. I even saved it since I have three other Alien8s to build.

At step 17, there is a typo that you need to be aware of. The instructions tell you put glue on root edge #1 and glue that to the 4" warp pod tube. However, the template clearly shows that root edge #1 should be attached to the body tube instead. The template is actually correct, if you only follow the instructions, the warp pod assembly will be swept back instead of forward. I informed Jim Flis about the typo and I am sure that future kits will have this corrected.

The rest of the assembly is quite straightforward. You mount the fins and the ping pong balls according to the directions. I added fillets to all the fins and even around the ping pong balls to give a smoother finish. I am really glad that FlisKits decided to include the laser cut fins for the large, curved fins. They are what appears to be birch plywood and that would have been very difficult to do with my little hobby knife.

I used two coats of Krylon dark gray primer with a 320 grit sanding in between. There are lots of little nooks and crannies on this rocket, so sanding took longer than normal. I then applied 2 coats of Audi Dragon Green Metallic spray paint. I really like the auto spray paints, they go on smooth, do not run, and dry so fast that you can put a second coat on 15 minutes after the first and then top coat it in one hour! The face card shows a two tone paint job using black and green, but my aliens prefer all green to match their skin.

There are decals included, 4 of which that are somewhat large - they are for the curved fins. The instructions mention that you may want to cut the large decals in half, but I had no problems applying them whole. Just take your time as they are very thin and can easily break. After the decals dried, I applied one coat of clear coat to seal everything up.

Construction Rating: 4 ½ out of 5

First flight was with a B4-2, the smallest motor recommended. Thank goodness for the short delay, because she did not fly very high. Parachute popped open just after apogee and she came down in the grass with no damage. For the second flight, I used a C6-5. Much better! Perfect flight with some weathercocking but nothing serious. Parachute arrived just after apogee again and I had another perfect landing. I had other rockets to launch so I did not get in more flights, but I am impressed with how she flies and she will definitely be spending more time in the air.

The 16" parachute was a perfect size for this rocket. Although I was flying on a fairly calm day, the rocket came down with not too much drift and neither too fast nor too slow. I like the Kevlar/elastic combination, it always seems to hold up well.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Aside from the little typo, this is a great kit. Take your time, build it right, and you will have yet another FlisKit that will be the center of attention. I hope that this is not the last collaboration between FlisKits and Shrox. If this first kit is any indication as to what we can expect in the future, I have my credit card ready and waiting!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

(Contributed - by Andy Miller - 01/03/05) FlisKits Alien8 (by Shrox)

This is an over three feet long single staged rocket with a 16 inch plastic parachute.

This kit comes with two body tubes, one coupler, 5 balsa fins and three ping pong balls to cut out. And that's just for starters! There are also two large wing like fins. All of these parts have to be glued on precisely.

The shock cord attachment is a step above the typical Estes-style mount with Kevlar from the coupler up, attached to elastic outside the tube. I will have to watch the Kevlar on the tube top at launches I guess (to keep it from zippering).

The instructions were outstanding, very easy to follow, and well illustrated. That said, this kit is not easy to build. No small wonder its classified as a level 3 skill build. Included is a build-it-yourself jig to attach two of the fins at the right angle, but the rest of the parts you are left on your own more or less to get right. And trust me the bigger the fins, the harder that is. This was my first skill level 3 kit and I did a decent job but by no means a perfect job.

The process of painting and applying decals was straightforward: prep, sand, seal, prime, and paint.

The decals were somewhat difficult to apply but I have some troubles with decals.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Both of the flights were were very straight despite the slight weather cocking on the first flight due to wind. Altitude was between 350 and 400 feet on the C6-5. I used a 12 inch parachute and recovery was perfect , walks were short. All the extra fins and tubes, and nose cone all stayed on. This was a baked dry corn field, so that says something for the quality of the materials.

The shock cord attachment is superior to paper glued to the tube wall, as what is found with most small model rockets. I think the Kevlar hanging out of the tube then having elastic attached there might risk cutting the tube at the first launch, but that remains to be seen. I would have preferred the Kevlar to stay inside the tube with the flat elastic against the tube lip.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Overall, I'd highly recommend this kit to anyone who is up to a skill level three kit , but not to any one who is not. There is a lot of fin surfaces that require alignment to be as close as possible. Also you will be asked to cut holes in ping pong balls, sounds easy, it isn't. I'd rate this kit as a 5 out of 5 overall, a real challenge for those tired of three fins and a nose cone.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

[Submit your Opinion]

"" (x.x.)

[Enter Rocket Specific Tip]

06/08 - "Since the Alien8 is such a long rocket, using the kit method of attaching the launch lugs offset on the fins could cause the rocket to "tip off" when it leaves the launch rod. To correct this, put a notch in the three pingpong balls large enough for a 1/8 launch lug before you install them. Make sure the notches line up with each other when gluing them in place. Once set up, insert a short length of launch lug through each of the balls and glue in place. When the glue is dry, sand the ends of the lugs even with the ball edges. You can get all the balls in position with the lugs and use a length of launch rod to align them all before using any glue if your "line of sight" is not that great. Or do one completely and use it to align the next two. Your call. This will now place the lugs in line with the body tube like any other rocket kit. I did mine this way and have had great, straight up flights each time." (G.M.K. )

05/05 - "Andy Miller expressed concern about the Kevlar zippering the body tube. It shouldn't be too hard to move the knot so that the tube edge is not exposed to the Kevlar. Use a dowel to shove the Kevlar and elastic through the back end of the motor mount. Then untie and retie them so the Kevlar portion is a little shorter. Finally, push them back out the front of the tube where they belong." (B.C. )

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Wind Notes
11-25-2006 Clive Davis Est SU C6-5 Apogee - NC Down 0-5 mph winds - Very nice boost. Flight was very smooth. Parachute deployment was perfect. Rocket landed within feet of the trees.
04-22-2006 Bill Ralston Est SU B6-4 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds Event: cmass

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